Development Authority of 
Peach County Georgia | 425 James E. Khoury Drive | Unit B | Fort Valley, Georgia 31030 | (478) 825-3826 | peachcountydevelopment@ymail.com

Legislative Update 2019 - Week #8

March 11, 2019
GEDA (Georgia Economic Developers Association) & Prepared by: Cornerstone Government Affairs

 

Noteworthy Items:

  • The General Assembly met last week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for Legislative Days 26-29. Crossover day was Thursday and, as expected, members worked late into the evening debating and passing legislation before the important deadline passed.
  • This week they will be in session Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • There was a flurry of activity during the week as the Senate considered 60 bills and the House considered 107 bills.
  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) did not pass the Senate prior to Crossover Day so is not eligible for consideration this session. Because Georgia has a biennial legislature, it is will be alive for the 2020 session.
  • The Senate passed SB 131, the “Georgia Major Airport Authority Act,” which would create a state authority to oversee Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport operations. The legislation would enable the proposed authority to contract with the county where the majority of the airport is located for any necessary services. Additionally, under SB131, members of the General Assembly, the authority, or its employees would have to disclose if they have a direct or indirect interest in a contract that is under consideration by the Authority. Finally, under SB131, there are provisions that state that if the Georgia General Assembly and the City of Atlanta can come to a joint governance plan by July 1, 2020, the creation of the authority would be dissolved.
  • The Senate also passed SB162, which would expand financing opportunities for development authorities by enabling them to apply and use Property Access Clean Energy (PACE) financing for broadband services infrastructure and disaster mitigation improvements.
  • The House defeated HB198 by a 72-94 vote. HB198 began as legislation from the House Rural Development Council and would have eliminated the Certificate of Need (CON) process and replaced it with a licensing program. After the vote defeating the bill, Rep. Hatchett moved to reconsider and that motion was adopted by a 129-40 vote.
  • The House adopted HB324, “Georgia’s Hope Act,” to allow the growth and sale of low-THC cannabis oil. Four years ago, the General Assembly passed a law permitting Georgians with specific illnesses to possess cannabis oil with a doctor’s prescription. About 8,000 patients have registered with the Department of Public Health to receive the drug. But with no in-state source of cannabis oil, patients or their parents are force to either travel out of state to get the drug or purchase marijuana off the street and manufacture the oil themselves. This bill would provide limited licenses for the growth of cannabis and manufacturing of the oil.
  • After hours of emotional debate, just before 11 pm on Crossover Day, the House passed HB481, to ban most abortions after six weeks, by a vote of 93-73. In a show of defiance, several House Democrats stood and turned their backs on Rep. Ed Setzler as he presented the bill. After being reprimanded by Speaker Ralston, several walked off the floor.
  • We have updated our bill tracker to reflect what bills survived Crossover Day. Bills labeled in red failed to pass one chamber, and bills labeled in green have passed one chamber. Green bills are hyperlinked to the bills they are associated with, but red ones are not. Going forward, we will only be tracking those bills that are in green. As always, please let us know if you become aware of legislation you would like us to follow!

House Bill Tracker

HB 2 – Constitutional Carry
Bill Sponsor: Rep Matt Gurtler
Bill Status: Introduced 11/16/18 (prefiled); Referred to Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee
Summary: A bill to allow anyone in Georgia who is legally allowed to own a gun to carry it without paying for a state-issued license. Currently, Georgia gun owners must pay to register with the state and pass a background check before being issued a license to carry a gun in public.
 
HB 22 – Statutory Authority for Broadband: Telephone Cooperatives
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Penny Houston
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Referred to Economic Development & Tourism Committee & favorably reported
Summary: To specifically authorize telephone cooperatives & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
 
HB 23 – Statutory Authority for Broadband: EMCs
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Penny Houston
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Passed on House Floor unanimously 2/11/19; Senate Read & Referred to Regulated Industries and Utilities
Summary: To specifically authorize Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
 
HB 24 – Governance of State & Local Boards, Authorities, & Commissions 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Vernon Jones
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/1; Referred to Government Affairs Committee and favorably reported by substitute
Summary: To require that all members of state and local boards, authorities, commissions, and similar entities in this state shall be appointed by an elected official or officials of the state or a political subdivision of the state.
 
HB 30 – Amended FY19 Appropriations 
Bill Sponsor: Speaker Ralston
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Passed House Floor 2/8/19; Passed Senate Floor 2/21/19
Summary: Amended FY2019 Appropriations
 
HB 31 – FY20 Appropriations
Bill Sponsor: Speaker Ralston
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Passed House Floor by Substitute 155 Yea – 13 Nay 2/28/2019
Summary: FY2020 Appropriations
 
HB 34 – Development Authority Board of Directors Requirements & Removal 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Rhonda Burnough
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Referred to Government Affairs and favorably reported by substitute
Summary: To allow development authority boards of directors to be comprised of residents OR licensed business owners paying ad valorem taxes on real or personal property within the county or municipal corporation for which the authority is created (expanding it beyond current law requirement of taxpaying residents). It would also give the city or county governing authority the power to remove a director for cause (which would include but not be limited to, neglect of duties, incompetence, failure to meet residency requirements, or unethical/dishonorable conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public, county or municipality) or with 30 days written notice provided a public hearing is followed no less than 30 days from the date of written notice.
 
HB 41 – Expanded Film/Gaming Production Tax Credit for Veterans Employed 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Pam Dickerson
Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19: Referred to Ways and Means Committee
Summary: To provide for an additional income tax credit for film, gaming, video, or digital production in Georgia for productions that employ veterans.
 
HB 126 – GeorgiaBest Employability Skills Training Program
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Randy Nix
Bill Status: Introduced 2/5/19. Referred to Committee on Industry & Labor. Favorably reported out of committee on 2/13/19.
Summary: To establish at the Ga Dept. of Labor the “GeorgiaBest” program, an employability and skills training curriculum.
 
HB 184 – Small Cell Wireless
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Brett Harrell
Bill Status: Introduced 2/7/19. Passed by House 2/14/19. Senate Referred to Regulated Industries and Utilities 2/15/19.
Summary: To encourage small cell wireless deployment through the colocation of new equipment on already-existing infrastructure.
  
HB 198 – Repeal of CON Requirements
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Hatchett
Bill Status: Introduced 2/8/19; Reconsidered by House and passed 129 Yea – 40 Nay 3/7/19
Bill Summary: To eliminate certificate of need requirements for all health care facilities except certain long-term care facilities and services
  
HB 224 – Investment Tax Credit
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Williamson
Bill Status: Introduced 2/8/19. Passed by House 3/4/19. Senate Referred to Finance 3/5/19
Summary: Investment tax credit for new purchases and acquisitions would be earnable for existing manufacturing and telecommunications facilities in tier 1 counties and could be used against payroll withholding, with limitations.
  
HB 244 – EMCs to Comply with Poll Rate Requirements 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Stephens
Bill Status: Introduced 2/11/19; referred to of Economic Development and Tourism and favorably reported by substitute
Summary: To amended Georgia Code to relating to corporate purposes and powers of electric membership corporations, so as to require electric membership corporations to comply with certain requirements in determining the rates for attachments to utility poles by communications service providers
 
HB 254 – Film & Gaming Tax Credits
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Trey Rhodes
Bill Status: Introduced 2/11/19. Referred to Ways & Means Committee.
Summary: To increase the amount of income tax credits allowed per year for film, gaming, video, or digital production.
 
HB 315 – Local Government Contracting
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Mark Newton
Bill Status: Introduced 2/14/19.Passed House unanimously 3/7/19.
Summary: A bill to create greater transparency in the local procurement process by requiring disclosures of certain consultants and relationships.
 
HB333 – Job Tax Credit
Bill Sponsor: Rep. John Corbett
Bill Status: Introduced 2/15/19; Referred to Ways & Means Committee. Passed committee after rolled into HB224 on 3/1/19.
Summary: To lower wage requirements in certain counties for obtaining a job tax credit and to increase such credit by $500.

HB 349 - Authorize counties to exercise powers in incorporated areas
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Chuck Martin
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Passed House unanimously 3/7/19.
Summary:  A bill to authorize counties to exercise powers in incorporated areas.
 
HB 350 - Income tax credit 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Williamson
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Referred to the House Ways and Mean Committee.
Summary: A bill relating to tax credits for certain business enterprises located in certain counties, to change the carry forward provisions relating to such credits.
 
HB 352 – Sales and Use Tax
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Burt Reeves
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Passed House 3/4/19. Senate Referred to Finance 3/5/19
Summary:  A bill relating to exemptions from sales and use tax, so as to change the sunset provision for the exemption for competitive projects of regional significance.
 
HB 355 – Income Tax Credit for Relocating Quality Jobs 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Clay Pirkle
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Referred to the House Way and Means Committee. Passed committee after rolled into HB224 on 3/1/19.
Summary:  A bill relating to the imposition, rate, computation, and exemptions from state income tax, so as to modify conditions for earning a tax credit for establishing or relocating quality jobs.
 
HB 356 – City of Douglas Redevelopment Powers
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Clay Pirkle
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Referred to the House Committee on Intragovernmental Coordination.
Summary:  A bill to authorize the City of Douglas to exercise all redevelopment and other powers under Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VII(b) of the Constitution and Chapter 44 of Title 36 of the O.C.G.A., the "Redevelopment Powers Law," as amended and to provide for a referendum as well as effective dates.
 
HB 388 – Development Impact Fees
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Deborah Silcox
Bill Status: Introduced 2/20/19. Referred to the House Committee on Governmental Affairs and favorably reported by substitute 3/5/19.
Summary:  A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 71 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to development impact fees, so as to exempt counties and municipalities from funding a development project's proportionate share of system improvement when such development project is exempt from development impact fees and such project creates affordable housing.
 
HB 405 – Level 1 Freeport Exemption
Bill Sponsor: Rep. David Knight
Bill Status: Introduced 2/21/19. House Passed 166 Yea – 1 Nay 3/7/19.
Summary:  A bill to modify provisions related to the Level 1 Freeport Exemption to include affiliated entities and inventory held for the repair or modification of goods.
 
HB 406 – Tax Digest and Equalized Adjusted Property Tax Digest
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Williamson
Bill Status: Introduced 2/20/19. Passed House 3/5/19. Senate referred to Finance 3/7/19.
Summary:  A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Title 36 and Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government and revenue and taxation, respectively, so as to require joint authorities to furnish certain information necessary for the state auditor to determine the net impact of their activities on associated tax digests and to require the use of such net impact to determine equalized adjusted property tax digests.
 
HB 421 – School Year to not Begin Before the Second Week of August 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Ron Stephens
Bill Status: Introduced 2/21/19. Referred to the House Education Committee.
Summary:  A bill to amend Code Section 20-2-168 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the minimum school year and other matters, so as to provide that a school year shall not begin prior to the second full week in August and to provide for input on the school year calendar from community organizations and parent organizations.
 
HB 443 – Allow Municipality to Levy Sales and Use Tax up to Five Years
Bill Sponsor: Rep. William Boddie
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Summary:  A bill to amend Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to water and sewer projects and costs tax (MOST), so as to redefine the term "municipality" and to allow for the levy of such sales and use tax to last up to five years.

HB 453 – Douglas County Redevelopment Powers 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Roger Bruce
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. House Passed 2/27/19. Senate Read and Referred to State and Local Government Operations Committee 2/28/19.
Summary:  A bill to authorize Douglas County to exercise all redevelopment and other powers under Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VII(b) of the Constitution and Chapter 44 of Title 36 of the O.C.G.A., the "Redevelopment Powers Law," as amended and to provide for a referendum as well as effective dates.
 
HB 494 -  Rehabilitation of Historic Income Tax Structures
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Buckner
Bill Status: Introduced 2/6/19. Referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
Summary:  A bill to amend Code Section 48-7-29.8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic structures and conditions and limitations, so as to change the time when a taxpayer is allowed a tax credit. It changes the projects earning limitation for the aggregate per calendar year cap and provides for carry forward of credits for other certified structures and changes the requirements for the transfer of credits.
 
HB 503 – Authorize Local Governments to Lease Aviation Property
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Rhonda Burnough
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. Referred to House Government Affairs Committee.
Summary:  A bill to amend Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 6 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to powers of local governments as to air facilities, so as to authorize certain local governments to lease property to private parties for development.
 
HR 6 – Term Limits
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Caldwell
Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19; referred to House Rules Committee
Summary: Constitutional amendment to provide that no member of the Georgia House or Senate can serve more than 4 consecutive terms before being required to be out of office for a full term.
 
HR 37 – Commission on Freight & Logistics
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Tanner
Bill Status: Introduced 1/28/19. Passed House 2/21/19. Senate Referred to Transportation Committee.
Summary: A resolution creating the Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics.
 
HR 48 – GA Coastal Tourism
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Gilliard
Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19; referred to Natural Resources Committee
Summary: A resolution supporting GA’s coastal tourism and fisheries and opposing seismic testing and oil and gas drilling activities off of Georgia’s coast.
 
HR 72 – World’s Largest Start-Up Competition
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick
Bill Status: Introduced 1/29/19. Referred to Economic Development & Tourism Committee and favorably reported 2/12/19.
Summary: A resolution encouraging Georgia to host the world’s largest start-up pitch competition.
 
HR 306 – Reduction of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Rate
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Efstration
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. Referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
Bill Summary: To provide for a reduction in the highest personal and corporate income tax rates by 0.25 percent
  
HR 327 - Local Authorization of a Limited Number of Resort Casinos
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Ron Stephens
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. Referred to House Committee on Economic Development & Tourism and favorably reported 3/1/19.
Summary:  A resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for the local authorization of a limited number of licensed destination resort facilities casino resorts within the state and to authorize the operation and regulation of limited casino gaming within the state.
  
HR 328 – Encouraging the Speaker of the House to Resign from Speakership 
Bill Sponsor: Rep. David Clarke
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. Referred to House Rules Committee. 
Summary:  A resolution encouraging the Speaker of the House of Representatives to resign from his leadership position; and for other purposes.
  
HR 378 – Georgia Gaming Commission
Bill Sponsor: Rep. Ron Stephens
Bill Status: Introduced 2/26/19. Referred to House Regulated Industries. 
Summary:  A resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that all forms of betting, bingo games, raffles, and gambling shall be permitted as determined by the Georgia Gaming Commission. The resolution provides for the establishment of such commission; for the members of such commission and for powers, duties, responsibilities, and resources of such commission.

Senate Bill Tracker

SB 2 – EMC Broadband Statutory Authority
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19; Passed Senate 53 Yea – 1 Nay 3/7/19.
Summary: To specifically authorize Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
 
SB 17 – Telephone Cooperatives Broadband Statutory Authority
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19; Passed Senate Floor unanimously 2/20/19; House Referred to Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications
Summary: To specifically authorize telephone cooperatives & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
 
SB20 – Banking Improvement Zones
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Rhett
Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19. Senate passed unanimously 2/17/19. Referred to House committee on Banks and Banking.
Summary: A bill to establish “banking improvement zones” to encourage opening of banks in areas underserved by banks.
 
SB 45 – Rural Georgia Jobs & Growth Act
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Beach
Bill Status: Introduced 2/5/19. Referred to Economic Development Committee and favorably reported by substitute 2/22/19.
Summary: A bill to provide for pari-mutuel horse racing at a limited number of equestrian centers and to create the Georgia Horse Racing Commission.
  
SB66 – Streamlining Wireless Facilities & Antennas Act
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Senate passed unanimously 2/25/19. Referred to House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee.
Summary: To streamline the deployment of wireless broadband in public rights of way.
 
SB74 – Repeal of CON Requirements
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Brass
Bill Status: Introduced 2/8/19; Referred to Regulated Industries and Utilities
Summary: To eliminate certificate of need requirements for all health care facilities except certain long-term care facilities and services
 
SB 87 – Toombs County Development Authority
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Tillery
Bill Status: Introduced 2/12/19. Senate passed unanimously 2/25/19. Referred to House Committee on Intragovernmental Coordination.
Summary: A bill dealing with the membership of the Toombs County Development Authority
 
SB 110 – Statewide Business Court
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Stone
Bill Status: Introduced 2/14/19. Passed Senate 52 Yea – 2 Nay 3/7/19.
Summary: Legislation to create a statewide business court.
 
SB 119 - Georgia Measuring Success Act
Bill Sponsor: Senator John Albers
Bill Status: Introduced 2/15/19. Passed Senate 3/4/19. House Referred to Ways & Means 3/7/19
Summary:  A bill relating to fiscal bills generally, so as to require an economic analysis prior to the introduction or amendment of legislation containing tax incentives or modifying or extending existing tax incentives.
 
SB 120 - Georgia Tax Credit Business Case Act
Bill Sponsor: Senator John Albers
Bill Status: Introduced 2/15/19. Passed Senate 3/1/19. House Referred to Ways & Means.
Summary: A bill relating to fiscal bills generally, so as to require an economic analysis to be conducted by the state auditor of certain income tax credits and exemptions from sales and use taxes according to a schedule.
 
SB 131 - Georgia Major Airport Authority Act
Bill Sponsor: Senator Burt Jones
Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Passed Senate by Substitute 34 Yea – 22 Nay 3/7/19.
Summary:  A bill relating to aviation, so as to create the Georgia Major Airport Authority. The bill amends Article 1 of Chapter 15 of Title 45 of the O.C.G.A., to general provisions relative to the Attorney General, so as to provide for representation of the Georgia Major Airport Authority by the Attorney General.
  
SB151 – The Health Act
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Burke
Bill Status: Introduced 2/21/19. Referred to Senate Health and Human Services.
Summary: To provide for improvements in the state’s healthcare system and coordination of state health related entities
 
SB 162 – Disaster Mitigation Improvements and Broadband Services Infrastructure 
Bill Sponsor: Senator Matt Brass
Bill Status: Introduced/22/19. Passed Senate 39 Yea – 14 Nay 3/7/19.
Summary:  A bill relating to local government, so as to provide for disaster mitigation improvements and broadband services infrastructure in projects of downtown development authorities and development authorities.
 
SR 55 – Equal Rights Amendment
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Orrock
Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19; Referred to Judiciary
Summary: Ratify 1972 Equal Rights Amendment as passed by Congress to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender.
 
SR237 – Congressional Term Limits
Bill Sponsor: Sen. Cowsert
Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19; passed Senate 3/8/19.
Summary: A resolution urging Congress to call a convention to address term limits so as to limit the number of terms Members of Congress may serve. It would only be effective if 2/3 of the states passed the same resolution.

 
 

Glossary of Terms:

Effective - The bill has been signed into law by the Governor and will go into effect the date stated.
Recommitted -  A parliamentary motion to reassign a bill which has been in one committee to the same or a different committee. 
Second Read -  In the House, second reading occurs automatically on the legislative day following the bill's introduction. In the Senate, second reading occurs on the legislative day after a bill is reported from standing committee, except that after the 35th day of the session, second reading occurs on the day a bill is reported from committee.
Conference Committee -  A special committee consisting of three members from each house appointed by the presiding officers to seek a compromise when the two houses have passed different versions of the same bill and insist on their respective positions.
Pre-filed - A bill that is filed before the beginning of the legislative session
Withdrawn - A bill is removed from consideration
Referred - Placed into committee

To find your law makers click here.
To view the GEDA Public Policy Agenda for 2019 click here.

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News and Events

Mar 3 | Legislative Update 2019 - Week #9

  Noteworthy Items: The General Assembly met last week on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday for Legislative Days 30-32. Since Crossover…

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Mar 3 | Legislative Update 2019 - Week #8

  Noteworthy Items: The General Assembly met last week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for Legislative Days 26-29. Crossover day…

(READ MORE)

 

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Call: (478) 825-3826 or peachcountydevelopment@ymail.com425 James E. Khoury DriveUnit BFort Valley, Georgia 31030